Topped with caramelized bananas, these challah French toast sticks are perfect for a weekend morning when you have more time to whip up a fancy-feeling breakfast.
This Challah French Toast was one of the first recipes I made on my blog, and it’s still one of my favorites. Challah bread’s egginess and slight sweetness makes it a perfect candidate for French toast. It’s sturdy enough to hold up to the custard, but doesn’t have the chewy crust that can turn a delightful breakfast into a jaw workout. I’ve made this French toast in both slices and fingers, but I’ve come to prefer the fingers since it maxes out the ratio of crispy edges to eggy centers. Feel free to do slices instead, but I recommend popping them in the oven for a bit after frying to ensure the centers aren’t soggy.
Now let’s talk about toppings. First off, whether you’re making pancakes or French toast, I must insist you heat up your maple syrup. I mean, we’re not animals, after all.
Second–make yourself some caramelized bananas, perhaps the easiest way to feel like a kitchen genius. Sliced bananas are fried with butter and brown sugar and tossed with a bit of bourbon, just because. It seems almost wrong that something so simple could be so good. If you want to show someone just how much you care, these bananas are probably enough, but serve them up with the French toast, a dollop of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and your undying love will be made abundantly clear.
- 8 slices stale challah bread, cut in 1 inch thick fingers (About 1 loaf)
- 6 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 bananas, in 1 inch slices
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Scant ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and place a wire rack on a sheet pan.
- In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the milk.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, soak the fingers in the egg mixture for at least 1 minute per side. Transfer the fingers to the skillet (you'll probably have to do two batches) and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the other side is golden, another 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked fingers to the wire rack and place them in the oven to keep warm while the second batch is cooked.
- Meanwhile, make the bananas. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place banana slices in skillet in a single layer. Cover with brown sugar.
- Brown bananas on one side, then flip, allowing sugar to cook and the other side to brown.
- Remove the skillet from heat then pour in bourbon. Let sizzle for a minute, then use the bourbon to slide banana slices out of skillet and onto a plate.
- Serve the French toast warm with real maple syrup and the caramelized bananas.